The 2009-10 edition of the Lady Spartans of Emery High opened their new season with a 60-43 victory at North Sevier last Tuesday night.
After trailing in the ball game throughout the first quarter, Emery had a good second quarter to take control of the game and then gradually pulled away in what turned out to be an easy victory.
Coming into this season, it was thought that Emery could be pretty good because of the two players that returned to play in the middle and that thought was reinforced with their play in the opening game. Senior Abbie Kay and junior Taylor Mann scored at will in the middle to lead Emery to the win.
Kay, one of the most dominant players last season in the state tournament, finished the night with 17 points, six rebounds, four steals and a blocked shot. Taylor Mann, standing more than 6 foot tall and with a lengthy reach, finished the night with 22 points, eight rebounds including four offensive rebounds, three steals and two assists.
Emery trailed 14-10 after the first quarter but then outscored the Wolves 27-13 in the second period to lead by 10 points at the half. Kay scored nine points in the second and Mann scored 10 points as Emery went inside time and time again. Kay, to show her versatility, also shot and scored behind the 3-point line.
Emery won the third period 16-9 and the final period 9-7. Emery shot 41 percent on 2-points shots, 39 percent on 3-point shots and 53 percent at the free throw line. Emery had 33 rebounds in the game including 12 offensive rebounds. Emery had 20 steals in the game and blocked three shots.
Also starting in the game were Tayler Jewkes, Markette Tanner and Jessica Murray. Jewkes finished with eight points, three assists and three steals in playing the point guard position. Tanner scored four points and pulled down three offensive rebounds. Murray scored eight points, had five steals and six rebounds and dished out three assists.
Also seeing playing time in the game were Makiah Sherman, Blayr Jeffs, Brooke Jensen, Shailee Stokes and Kim Oldroyd. Jensen pulled down six rebounds while Stokes had a couple of steals.
Coach Steven Gordon was happy with the win and thought that team played well in spurts. One concern is Abbie Kay and her tendency to play defense on the wrong side of the court. Kay last season often found herself in foul trouble and this season started the same way. Kay fouled out of the game and had to sit for periods of time in the second quarter.
Emery will host Carbon High this Thursday night at the Spartan Center in a non-region contest. Carbon always brings a high energy, pressure defensive team to the court and so the game will be a good test for Emery. Sophomores start at 3:30 p.m. followed by the JV team and varsity at 7 p.m.